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Kitching cover websiteMegan Kitching

Winner of the Jessie Mackay Prize for Poetry at the 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Shortlisted for the 2024 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry at the 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

'The feeling that evolves from the poems – the emotion a reader might respond with – is part of that unique attention that for me is so immediate, and then so resonant.' – Vincent O'Sullivan

At the Point of Seeing is the extraordinary debut collection from Ōtepoti Dunedin poet Megan Kitching. Poised, richly observant and deftly turned, Kitching's poems bestow a unique attention upon the world. Her eye is finely attuned to the well-trodden yet overlooked – the places between 'dirt and thumb' or 'together and alone' – and especially the weedy, overgrown and pest-infested places where the human impulses to name, control and colonise meet nature's life force and wild exuberance. These compelling poems urge the reader to slow down and give space to the living, moving, breathing environment that surrounds them.

… the garden
is making something of you, situated on
the border of dirt and thumb, the corner
with its stepover wall where two streets
grow neighbourly and flora and animal meet.

— from 'Growing Advice'


Megan Kitching was born in Tāmaki Makarau Auckland and now lives in Ōtepoti Dunedin. She holds a PhD in English Literature from Queen Mary University, London, looking at the influence of the natural sciences on eighteenth-century poetry. She has taught English and creative writing in the UK and at the University of Otago. Her poetry has appeared in The Frogmore Papers (UK), takahē, Poetry New Zealand, and Landfall. “The horses,” published in takahē 95, was nominated for Best Small Fictions 2020. In 2021, she was the inaugural Caselberg Trust Elizabeth Brooke-Carr Emerging Writer Resident. At the Point of Seeing is her debut collection.

Publication details

Paperback, 230 x 150mm
ISBN 9781990048562, $25
IN-STORE: 22 June 2023

Reviews and interviews

At the Point of Seeing included in Newsroom's Top 10 Poetry Collections of 2023: 'Megan Kitching’s well-formed verses delight in fulfilling what a reader might traditionally expect from poetry – careful observation, thoughtful reflection and skilled use of poetic form. Many of the poems start with a single point of focus and elaborate outwards, revealing a scene slowly and deliberately. The subjects are often ordinary – a man standing outside a bowling club or a suburban street after rain – but Megan has a way of making them glow with something metaphysical.' – Erena Shingade Read

Interview: Megan Kitching speaks to Jeff Harford on Write Spot, OAR FM, about At the Point of Seeing Listen

Review:'In her tenderly written, quietly powerful debut collection, At the Point of Seeing, Megan Kitching highlights the complex inter-relationships between the environment and people, and between people and people.' – Linda Collins reviews At the Point of Seeing by Megan Kitching for Aotearoa NZ Review of Books Read

Interview: "Poems often carry that small injunction to be attentive, to notice and appreciate things we might otherwise miss. This doesn't need to be a grand epiphany in the wilderness. We are already part of nature and so the daily business of living can remind us of those connections and of other lives like the weeds under our feet. I very much hope these poems can be such reminders for readers." – Megan Kitching speaks to Kete Books Read

Review:"A precisely-written, and precisely-felt collection that is both rooted in the past, yet made for our times"Laura Williamson for 1964 Magazine (Issue 15 Spring 2023)

Extract: 'Cold Fusion' from At the Point of Seeing in the NZ Listener (July 8–14 2023)

Interview: Megan Kitching speaks to Ruth Tood on Bookenz, Plains FM Listen

Review: Nicholas Reid reviews At the Point of Seeing for the NZ Listener Read

Review: 'In this time of unbearable inhumanity, planet selfishness, personal profit, ugly behaviour, At the Point of Seeing is a reminder of hope ... poetry is a lifeline, the source of joy, the connecting force, the point of contemplation. We are at the point of seeing, we are at the point of speaking, sharing, hoping, and poetry such as this, poetry as good as this, makes all the difference.'Paula Green for NZ Poetry Shelf

Review: 'Kitching reminds us that significance lies not just in grand spectacles but also in the small details that reveal the extraordinary within the ordinary. Through her gifts of lyrical observation, she reawakens our senses to the overlooked miracles that surround us each day.' –⁠ Chris Reed for NZ Booklovers

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